Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Stronger Weak of Voting At Americans Elect, And The Winner Is...

As first-round voting approaches its close (on May 1st), Americans Elect Corporation managed to log a record-setting week, harvesting 1,707 qualifying votes for its Top 20 candidates (see graph). This was the highest weekly vote tally we have observed since we began vote-tracking in early March, although not by much, and not nearly a strong enough performance to change the story we have been reporting here week after week. With the voting period now 97% complete, no declared candidate has even 25% of the qualifying votes required to advance to the next round. And so we project the winner of the first Americans Elect ballot will be (...drum-roll...): no one.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Take A Byte Out of Plutocracy: Withdraw Your Support Clicks (Here's How)

If you're like us, when you first learned about Americans Elect you were excited. "At last," you thought, "somebody gets it!" Online voting holds tremendous promise to engage voters and to enhance democracy. And a third party with no partisan baggage, and with 50-state ballot access, could really kick some politics-as-usual butt inside the Beltway.

So you went online. You signed up as an Americans Elect member. You ran the gauntlet of questions about your nephew's high school mascot in order to get your identity verified. And you voted for your favorite candidates.

And then...too realized that you'd been chumped.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What To Look For In Americans Elect Corporation's Upcoming IRS Form 990

 "Follow the money. Always follow the money," has been the First Law of political science since long before Deep Throat thus advised Bob Woodward in the 1976 classic, All The President's Men. Alas, miscreants know that too, and they have a powerful armamentarium at their disposal with which to cover their money's tracks. But there is one thing which stands forthrightly between organizations such as Americans Elect Corporation and the invisibility they crave: the Internal Revenue Service's Form 990. So here follows a brief tutorial on what to look for in AECorp's upcoming 2011 Form 990 filing, and how to find it. Over the next 20 days we'll outline one new tip every few days regarding how to read AECorp's tea leaves when it de-cloaks on May 15th(?).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Americans Elect Corporation Weakly Voting Highlights for 4/21/12

With just ten days left in the months-long ordeal that is Americans Elect Corporation's first-round ballot, the big picture remains as it has since Day 1: disinterested voters continue to fail to vote in sufficient numbers to advance any candidate to the second-round ballot. As the graph above illustrates, no candidate has achieved even half the number of qualifying votes required to stay on pace. But the fix is in, and that may be good news for these poor campaigners.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Americans Elect Giving Up On The Whole Intertubes Thing, Admits It's Too Complicated For Them

A central aspect of Americans Elect's value proposition is its implementation of what we like to call 'digital democracy', also known as 'online voting' -- empowering voters to record their electoral choices via the internet, with all the benefits you might imagine that innovation would offer in the way of enhanced voter participation. In fact, we would guess that that is one of AECorp's biggest attractions, particularly for the youthful demographic it works so hard to target. As every American corporation today understands, if you cater to the youth market and you're not online with fully internet-enabled transactional capabilities, you're just not in the game. Hence our surprise to learn today that Americans Elect Corporation has apparently given up on this whole intertubes thing, at least as far as one critical aspect of its operation is concerned.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

'Weakly' Americans Elect Voting Highlights for 4/14/12

Voter turnout for the first-round ballot at Americans Elect Corporation was anemic again this week, with just 921 qualifying votes (out of AECorp's 400,000+ recorded 'members') logged for the Top-20 'candidates' we track in our weekly analysis. This result is, however, up from last week's record low turnout (just 829 qualifying votes), largely on the strength of AECorp's too-little too-late new get-out-the-vote initiative (an email advising members "It only takes a few minutes, and if you get verified today, you'll be entered to win a free gift from us to you!" We're hoping the "free gift" is a shiny new toaster. Given the preponderance of billionaire Wall Streeters and other Titans of Finance among AECorp insiders this hardly seems like too much to ask.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Road-Testing Americans Elect's Declared Candidates: Try Before You Buy

Inspired by a brief Twitter exchange yesterday with AECorp declared candidate TJ O'Hara, we have laid down (via Twitter and email, and herewith) this sensible challenge to all of Americans Elect's leading declared candidates: What will you do, as individual candidates or (better) collectively, to demand and actually achieve immediate reform of Americans Elect Corporation?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

‘Weakly’ Voting Highlights For Americans Elect (4/7/12)

[UPDATE: For our most recent 'Weakly Voting Highlights' click here]

Many of the results encapsulated in this week’s graph are now old news (that is, little different from the week before), but bear with us: one highly curious event this week, also discussed below, just may telegraph a  new disaster-recovery strategy emerging from Americans Elect’s penthouse.

But first, to recap the more obvious highlights:
·      Voting activity continued to slump, with just 829 qualifying votes recorded this week for the top 20 ‘candidates’, down from last week’s already poor showing of 1,165. In our analysis, a

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Push-Polling 101: Americans Elect's Platform of Questions Answer Themselves (So You Don't Have To)

Like the old joke about Unitarians burning a question mark in your front yard, Americans Elect has plenty of questions, but no answers. Or does it?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Buddy Roemer's Slippery Slope Into Bed With Americans Elect

Never mind that Buddy Roemer has tried on as many political parties as Newt Gingrich has wives. What really counts in a presidential candidate isn’t party affiliation, but rather what he or she stands for. Because if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

Or...maybe not. If Gov. Roemer’s current Americans Elect dating game demonstrates anything at all, it is that one can, in fact, stand for something and still fall for anything.

In his own words (or, at least, his campaign web site’s) Roemer is “committed to fighting the corrupting influences in Wall Street and Washington,” stands firm against “billionaires buying an election,” stands up against the “special interests” and “the corrupting influence of money in politics.”

So what do you do if you’re a hard-scrabble corruption-fighting reformer whom the other less ethical candidates and their billionaire backers have (at least in your view) systematically squeezed out of the debate, and out of the running? Why, you find yourself the very last billionaire in America who doesn’t yet have a date for the prom, and you jump into bed with him. You declare your candidacy with Peter Ackerman’s pet ‘party’, Americans Elect Corporation.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Americans Elect: Do Cheap Clicks Cheapen Picks?

Friction: the force of Nature we all love to hate. It restricts your gas mileage, gives you rug burns, wears away at all your beloved possessions turning them to dust. And yet, friction is also the force which makes it possible for us to move forward, instead of just spinning our wheels.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

AElien Autopsy (Part I)

The wheels are now beginning to fall off of Americans Elect Corporation's bus. Its first-round balloting is a slooooow motion train wreck. No brand-name candidate with a respectable reputation to worry about is willing to come within a ten-foot pole of declaring for it. High-profile one-time supporters like Rise of the Center's Solomon Kleinsmith are quite publicly jumping ship. Its media honeymoon is over, and suddenly everyone is asking it hard questions (for which it seems to have no answers). So we think it is time to begin the autopsy while the corpse is still fresh.

An Americans Elect Primer: Dark Side Edition

If there is one thing that Americans Elect Corporation puts some serious effort into getting just right, it’s PR. A reader of the AECorp web site’s ‘News’ section could be forgiven for coming away with the impression that sensible and concerned folks everywhere are just dizzy with boundless enthusiasm and undying support for Wall Street tycoon Peter Ackerman’s privatized vision of Democracy 2.0…but nothing could be further from the truth.

Here follows our alternative Americans Elect Corporation Essential Reading List (The Dark Side Edition).